The Kingdom of Prismal
A wilderness of forests, grasslands, and mountains tamed by a diverse group of settlers over 200 years ago, Prismal is the thriving independant kingdom where Court of Roses takes place. They enjoy a strong alliance with the Goliaths of the Vermilion Mountains to the north, and have just begun talks to join an alliance with the Aravae Isles to the southeast.
Prismal itself is split into eight provinces, most of them with their own Duke presiding over the region from their castle city. Some provinces have more major cities than others (major cities are marked with a tall tower on the map, indicating their temple), but they all offer different cultural and practical signifiances to the kingdom, listed under the map below.
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- The Hearthlands are the center for royal family meetings, most religious gatherings, and an ideal locale for old families to settle. The plains between settlements are widespread and rather sparse.
- Umberglow is the center of science, knowledge, and various forms of study. Due to the high concentration of medicinal plants in and around the province, including the neighboring forests and swamps, the Prismal Alchemist Society make their home here, in Calcin.
- Mulberry is the center of the arts, in all its forms. Each city has its own artistic focus, but the major cities of Saung and Mapleton are the most traversed, the former being the epicenter of music and the latter being the same for artwork and writing.
- Greyrock is the center of craftsmanship, in the forms of smithing, tinkering, and so on, aided by the laborers of the mountain mines. As a neighbor to the Goliath clans, physical prowess is also honed here, in the arenas of Highsborough and even by the monks of Mt. Serene.
- Flaxenbrook is the center of foreign trade and commerce, as its own castle city is Port Terquoi, the major port leading to the Indigo Sea. Much of the saltwater fishing trade is also conducted here, and salt itself is harvested from the wetlands.
- Greenwind is the center of agriculture, in both raising crops and cattle, as the plains here are most fertile. Many hunters and trappers are permitted to ply their trade on the borders of the Tree-Sea as well. Port Gem also offers passage across the Golden Bay to the Aravae Isles.
- The Emerald Tree-Sea is where all who follow the Old Ways of Nature commune, and is not easily traversed. The elves of Durmista offer pathways and guidence through the forests for travelers, but some of the Old Magics have spawned numerous dangers hiding in the deep glens.
- Black Hollow only exists as a protective gateway to the Southern Swamps. Its lands are barren, as if slightly tainted by the swamps, and its few inhabitants guard the Sienna Wall outside of Blackburn; sometimes, they are posted at the Sienna Gate in Umberglow.
The Population of Prismal
The original settlers were, as mentioned above, a diverse group of travelers. Their leader and Prismal's first queen, Natasha I, worked with the elves, and eventually the goliaths, to form a series of townships and trade routes that flourish to this day. That spirit of diversity has carried on as more people from beyond the Indigo Sea travel to Prismal. The races represented in Prismal today include the following:
- Humans, the round-eared diplomats and laborers. Many in that first group of settlers were humans, including Natasha I herself. The most prestigious human families are found in Greenwind and the Hearthlands.
- Elves, the point-eared practioners of the Old Ways of Nature. They were here before Prismal, and more came from the Far North. Many remain in Durmista, city of the elves, but others travel outside the Emerald Tree-Sea and embrace modern culture.
- Gnomes, the short, large-eared champions of science and the arts. Many notable scholars and entertainers in Prismal's history were gnomes, and their current stage presence is larger than life. As such, you'll more than likely find them in Mulberry and Umberglow.
- Dwarves, the stout, bearded builders and crafters. As the country's first towns and villages grew into grand cities, many dwarves stepped up to become their architects. Most make their home in Greyrock, near the foothills of the Vermilion Mountains.
- Orcs, the tusked bulwarks, resourceful and resilient. once inhabitants of the harsh Southern Swamps, they oversaw the construction of the Sienna Wall. Many orc families remain in Umberglow and Black Hollow, while others thrive across all of Prismal.
- Goliaths, the giant rulers of the Vermilion Mountains. For the past 50 years, the goliath clans have enjoyed a robust alliance with Prismal after the long and bloody Far North War. Most remain with their clans, and the few that venture into Prismal don't stray far from Greyrock.
- Sphynx, the feline philanthropists. they sailed to Prismal from beyond the Southern Swamps, docking at Port Gem as they sought new trade opportunities. Sphynx can be found all across Prismal, though a prominent sphynx family owns the wetlands in Flaxenbrook.
- Argusas, the canine guardians. They arrived on the same merchant ships as the sphynx, and from then 'til now they've proven to be the most loyal protecters and soldiers. You'll find them all throughtout Prismal, often as part of the town guard.
- Baskaas, the reptile masters of medicine from parts unknown. Their knowledge of the earth and its bounty has kept both the land and its people thriving for generations. Most have settled in places with warmer climate, such as Umberglow and Greenwind, especially near the coast.
- Malarks, the colorful bird folk, also from parts unknown. What we do know is that long ago, they migrated across Prismal from the Far East, and many were so impressed by the local culture and prosperity that they chose to stay while their kin continued out past the Indigo Sea. They've since been heavily involved in the arts and sciences all across Prismal.
- Infernals, the least understood people of Prismal. they resemble demonspawn in appearance, yet they lack fangs, claws, or hooves, and sport antlers instead of horns. Either born into infernal families, or left on folks' doorsteps as newborns, there are conflicting stories of where they truly come from, though most begin in the Infernal Realm, hence their name. However, their gentle nature is adored by all, despite occasional, and often unwarrented, mistrust.
NOTE: Mixed-race people are quite common, and are liberal with how they refer to themselves. They use terms such as half-elf, half-dwarf, half-sphynx, etc.
The Panteon of Prismal
Prismal's colorful pantheon is known as The Church of the Hues' Wheel), and was founded around the same time as Prismal was. Worship of the Hues is pretty universal, but a lot of folks prefer to devote themselves to just one or two of them.
The Hues Themselves are:
- Pal'let, the Ever-Present Hue; Creator of all, parent and ruler of gods; depicted as a grand humaniod as blank as a canvas, but with loving, outstretched hands. Worship and love for any and all Hues is considered worship for their Creator, and as such, They have a place in every temple.
- Scarlette, the Hue of Passion; Goddess of love, beauty, betrayal, and revenge; depicted as a woman whose appearence changes based on who views her, but always seen with roses. She is the patron and a huge source of inspiration for all artists, especially painters, actors, and poets.
- Citron, the Hue of Strength and Vigor; God of fire, battle, adventure, and courage; depicted as a gargantuan goliath warrior with a beard made of endless fire. He began as the goliaths' primary God, bringing hope to a people embroiled in war, but then joined the Hues after their alliance with Prismal.
- Tawni, the Brightest Hue; Goddess of light, luck, and fortune; depicted as a free-spirited and unpredictable fey. Even so, Her worshippers, usually including merchants and businessfolk, say that such chaos is simply the nature of Her domain.
- Jayd, the Hue of Life; Goddess of earth, nature, hunting, and agriculture; depicted as a flowering tree-woman, Her long branches of hair flowing like a weeping willow. This kind, motherly Hue is respected by all, but is especially revered by any who benefit from Her bounty, including hunters, gatherers, farmers, and practitioners of the Old Magics.
- Syan, the Capricious Hue; Goddess of wind, air, and the sky; depicted as a woman with hair made of clouds, shifting in type based on Her mood, affecting the weather. She is nowhere near as volitile as Her sister-god of the sea, and is a patron to dreamers and drifters, but Her unpredictable nature is still deserving of both respect and caution from travelers and sailors.
- Nayvee, the Torrential Hue; Goddess of water, rain, storms, and the sea; depicted as a woman who is fish-like until the winter, when She dons a thick white coat as She makes the earth sleep. Despite the inherent destruction of Her mighty storms on land and sea, Her followers will always remind us of the needed change and rebirth Her annual rage brings.
- Indeego, the Sagacious Hue; God of knowledge, magic, and secrets; depicted as an elder man studying alone within His expansive library. He is, above all, respected and revered by every scholar, teacher, scientist, wizard, and anyone else pursuing the long and perilous journey on the path to greater knowledge of the world, no matter the subject of study.
- Lylac, the Jolliest Hue; God of mirth, joy, and all creativity; depicted as drunken bard, armed only with a lute, a strong drink, and a joyous song. Of course, He is the one and only patron to bards, and to all other merrymakers who seek to celebrate the grand party life has to offer; sadly, this does not make Him very popular among the more serious Hues, or Their followers.
- Mahve, the Endearing Hue; Goddess of birth, fertility, and marriage; depicted as a loving woman in purple robes, sharing Her affection with a family of doves. Her teachings provide strength and compassion for all the forms love and family take on, and Her devotees provide services for marriage, childbirth, family counseling, long-term recovery, grief, and even transition rituals.
- Hazil, the Hue of Warmth; Goddess of home, family, and community; depicted as a hearty housemaid with Her own little entourage of rodent helpers. Her devotees often work alongside those of Her sister-god to provide housing and care for families of all sizes, but She is also considered a patron to any person kind enough to open their home to travelers; Her warmth can be found in every inn, tavern, and hostel.
- Sabal, the Hue of Spirits; Goddess of death and caretaker of souls; depicted as a gentle woman with feline features and Her black cat stewards that help lead wayward souls to Her waiting embrace. Death may come for us all, but Her and Her devotees will ensure that the journey to the spiritual plane goes well, and your remains are handled in the way you or your Hue wishes.
There are also rumors of ancient gods that fall beyond Pal'let's love and influence, the antithesis of the Hues and their Brightness, known only as the Blank Gods...
Every major city has a temple dedicated to each of the gods, and their specific god influences the city's style, social gatherings, and even the flowers cultivated. Exceptions are Sabal, who is worshipped at every temple through their burial halls, (Her flower is Belladonna) and Pal'let, who is represented everywhere regardless. (Their flower is Baby's Breath)
- Hope: Mahvee and Her Lavenders
- Bliss: Hazil and Her Cinnamon Basil
- Mapleton: Scarlette and Her Roses
- Saung: Tawni and Her Sunflowers
- Calcin: Indeego and His Irises
- Port Gem: Nayvee and Her Bluebells (note: the Port Terquoi Temple in Flaxenbrook was destroyed in a flood)
- Swanford: Syan and Her Azure Cotton
- Highsborough: Citron and His Tiger Lilies
- Durmista, City of the Elves: Jayd and Her Emerald Tree-Sea Ferns
- Lylac Temple and His Pansies
The Calender of Prismal
Prismal's calendar has twelve months, with 31 days each. Each month is dedicated to one of the twelve gods, with a holiday celebrating them throughout the month.
- Winter Morning, when Nayvee's harsh winter storms subside, and Her gentle snow prepares the earth to awaken, during the Festival of Ice
- Winter's End, when Scarlette melts the ice around the earth and warms the people's hearts, during Scarlette's Day
- Early Spring, when Jayd truly brings the earth to life during the week-long Spring Festival
- Fresh Spring, when Mahve most envokes the blessings of new life, during the Egg Festival
- Spring's End, when Syan parts the last rainclouds of spring weather to usher in the summer, during the Festival of Winds
- Early Summer, when Lylac and His merry band first comes out to play and celebrate, during the Summer Selebration (misspelled by Lylac devotees after too many drinks, kept as per tradition)
- Mid Summer, when the heat is great and Citron tests the might of His warriors, during the Citron Tournaments
- Summer's End, when wealth is plentiful from the summer and Tawni comes forth to bless it for the coming autumn, during the Festival of Light (recently hijacked by Her brother-god Lylac, becoming the Bardic Festival)
- Early Fall, when the earth begins to quiet from the zealous summer and Indeego prepares His scholars for study, during the Meetings of the Minds
- Fall Hearth, when Sabal, encouraged by both sibling-gods Hazil and Lylac, gives the souls of the departed a brief respite in our natural plane, during the Festival of the Dead
- Fall's End, where Hazil brings families and communities together to weather the coming storms, during Fall's Feast
- Deep Winter, when the cold storms rage their hardest, yet all the Hues gather together under Pal'let to bless us as best they can, during Huemas